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400 homes: Local real estate agents respond to pandemic

See the full issue of the May 400 Life magazine here.

Mindy Cintron

My family and I are adjusting to life during the COVID-19 pandemic nicely. We have gone from always on the go to staying at home much of the time. At first it was a big adjustment for all of us.  

Mindy Cintron
Mindy Cintron
Wanting to make sure we do everything we can to “save lives” we have really adapted to the times. The kids are homeschooling well and we are exercising daily. My kids have made calendars with time-blocking strategies to get things done. They are going outside and riding bikes, playing electronics and socializing with their friends that way, having Zoom gatherings with friends and eating family dinners at the kitchen table.  

My business has really adapted nicely, too. We are getting better through this time. We are still offering great service to our clients and 3D virtual tours on all of our listings to limit the amount of in-person showings. We are helping clients with the Keller Offers iBuyer program as we are certified and approved to get our clients instant offers without needing to stage the home or have buyers come inside for a showing where they can pick the closing date. 

We host virtual open houses which have been amazing. At a normal open house, we will spend three to four hours at the house and if we have 15 buyers we are happy. Recently at our virtual open house we had 155 people attend and got one of our listings sold! 

We are now doing our open houses where other Realtors attend to give feedback and also preview the home for their potential clients virtually. This has majorly increased the number of attendees. 

We still offer all of the great services to our clients and are just growing and getting better and stronger from this pandemic. 

We pray you and your family stay safe through this time and we will continue to get our clients where they need to be each and every day. Contact Mindy Cintron: 954-709-4444,,

Matthew Thaxton 

Life has certainly changed since the outbreak of COVID-19. No more days in the office, no more days of in-person meetings with clients and colleagues. My days are now filled with lots of time spent at home, networking and connecting via Zoom. 

I am finally able to get lots of home projects done that I haven’t had time to do before. 

Matthew Thaxton
Matthew Thaxton
This pandemic has certainly made me think about my motto: “Always stay humble and kind.” It has humbled me in so many ways and made me open my eyes to so much. 

During this time of change, I have found myself appreciating the little things just a bit more. I am finally able to get lots of home projects done that I haven’t had time to do before. My family limits our time and exposure out in the community now as we follow the shelter-in-place orders. This has resulted in lots of family time, catching up on television shows, movies, playing board games and building puzzles. 

I have also been able to do my continuing education online and just got my Keller Williams iBuyer Certification allowing me to make instant cash offers on homes, which has become a popular option during this time for clients who want to sell their home but avoid the traditional way of a real estate transaction during this pandemic. 

I also own a commercial cleaning company that services many medical offices and essential offices that have remained open. It’s been an honor for us to help and do our part for the medical field and our essential workers during this time to be able to provide them with safe, clean working environments. 

As a Georgia native, and more specifically a native of Forsyth County for 30 years, I want my community to know I am here for them and praying for each of us daily. If there is anything I can do for you or your family during this time, please contact me. We have brighter days ahead! Contact Matthew Thaxton: 678-341-7650,

Meme Gerena

I am a full-time licensed real estate professional specializing in residential properties. I bring dedication, passion, enthusiasm and loyalty to my clients and local community. My business is based on more than 80% referrals from satisfied clients. I earn the respect of my clients by working tirelessly on their behalf.  

Meme Gerena
Meme Gerena
As a Georgia native and real estate professional, I recognize and value the trust my clients place in me and consistently strive to exceed their expectations. It brings me great joy to help with all of your real estate needs.

My family has made some major adjustments due to COVID-19. We have incorporated family and friends video chats into our routine. This helps us to see smiling faces and stay connected. My husband and I leave the home when necessary. By limiting our exposure, this helps us all! 

Within my business, I am offering virtual appointments, virtual home tours for my sellers and virtual open houses. Making sure that we are keeping the sellers and buyers safe is my highest priority.   

We are definitely living in uncertain times. The message of hope is so desperately needed in our nation right now. One of the things that I love about our county is that we can all come together and help each other in the time of need. My local church family did not skip a beat and has offered so many opportunities to stay connected and participate in community outreach. I have partnered with one of the best brokerages around to continue to be a beacon of hope in the community. 

I am finding hope in the word of God and leaning on Psalm 91 and Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Contact Meme Gerena: 678-773-9886,

Joe and Joe Racanelli

Planning to buy or sell a house? COVID-19 has added many layers of complexity to everyone’s life. Today’s customers need innovative solutions that produce excellent results, on time and on budget. Renovation Realty’s unique combination of real estate and general contracting expertise helps buyers and sellers reduce stress while maximizing their investments.

Renovation Reality
The father/son team of Joe and Joe Racanelli leverages the extraordinary business acumen of Joe Sr. with the professional homebuilding experience of Joe Jr. Consequently, Renovation Realty goes beyond what typical real estate agents can do. Renovation Realty seamlessly coordinates and completes home improvements for sellers that are getting ready to sell. And buyers benefit when house hunting because Renovation Realty’s homebuilding background can recognize underlying concerns in a prospective property. Renovation Realty can suggest and complete cost effective recommendations for home repairs, updates and renovations.

In today’s new real estate environment, Renovation Realty is uniquely positioned to offer incentives to buyers and sellers that want to reduce stress while maximizing their investments. Contact Joe Racanelli at Renovation Realty for a Free Market Evaluation of your home or a Free Estimate of your home improvement project. 
Contact Joe Racanelli: 404-386-9064,

Ruby Brancato

As a family, we are making the best of Georgia’s shelter-in-place order by being creative with homeschooling my girls — they are

Ruby Brancato
enjoying sharing my office! They are accomplishing so much, grades have improved and there’s been a lot more time to enjoy nature.

Being a Realtor for 30-plus years has helped me adjust and embrace the challenges that we are facing at this time. Keeping in touch with my clients, sharing with them changes in our market, taking precautionary measures when showing homes to my clients or accommodating agents and their clients. My God is my rock! He’s my shield and my strength, my place of safety and my shelter, My Savior!

Brenda Usher

This pandemic has been a time for me to reach out to others, to ensure that they are OK. I have truly had the opportunity to live out my priorities of God, family, work and help in the community.

Brenda Usher
Steve Jobs once said the six best doctors in the world are sunlight, rest, exercise, diet, self-confidence and friends. We have to believe that together we can get through this.

Stay safe all, and know this too shall pass!

Contact Brenda Usher: 678-887-0104,

Heather Rose
My mission is simple: I want to help your real estate bloom and be “YOUR” Realtor for all your real estate needs. Heather Rose with Keller Williams specializes in residential, commercial, investment and luxury real estate in the north Atlanta area. Whether you are looking to buy or sell a home, condo, land, commercial property or are in need of property management, I am your Realtor to assist you. 
Heather Rose
My coverage of areas include Atlanta, Dunwoody, Marietta, Norcross, Duluth, Roswell, Alpharetta, Cumming, Milton, Johns Creek, Dawsonville and Suwanee. I utilize the latest technology to empower customers to buy and sell Real estate. Ninety percent of customers use the web and mobile technologies to research real estate during the buying and selling process. With customers demanding leading edge technologies to keep up to date with current market trends, it is imperative that you are given the best technology solutions available. 
I evaluate each client’s property and individual situation and develop a sophisticated strategy to market, sell or lease your home, condo, land or commercial building. As a technology leader in real estate, I leverage the latest in SEO optimization, social networking and advanced listings through syndication feeds to multiple web platforms including, Google base, Trulia, Zillow, Real Estate Book, Backpage, Kijiji, Postlets, Homescape, Hotpads, Frontdoor,, MSN, Yahoo real estate, Craigslist, Google, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, KW expansive listing service and many others.
I ensure my clients properties are marketed to as many potential customers on a daily basis which oftentimes leads to multiple offers. Buyers and Sellers are very savvy, and I know your time is extremely valuable so this is taken into consideration when working with you. The best tools and service are delivered to you which differentiates your experience apart from the competition.
Call Heather Rose today to see how I can be of service for all your real estate needs! Contact Heather Rose:, 404-429-9079,

Joseph Benedetto

Be community, live community and act community — that’s how my family and I have approached these difficult times.

My wife is an LPN for an assisted living facility and has been in close contact with the virus. The hardest part for her is working with the

Joseph Benedetto
residents to understand the situation. They are scared and confused. They aren’t allowed to see their families and that alone can take a toll on their health. She goes above and beyond to make them feel like they are family to her. 

I have taken to social media to reach out to the community through Facebook. I have invited people to embrace these times at home, start their spring cleaning projects, declutter and donate things that others might need. I expressed to them that I will come pick these items up and bring them to The Place of Forsyth County for them so they don’t have to leave the house. 

In addition to taking their items for donation I have picked up toilet paper for people unable to get to the store early enough to get in line. I have delivered lunches to parents homeschooling their kids and have made several supply runs for my friend Amy Wilson of Muze Salon Suites in Cumming. She has taken this time away from her business to give back to the community by making custom fit masks. It’s quite funny watching me shop at craft stores for fabric, thread and needles. I can sell a house all day but can’t pick out a chevron pattern or find a bobbin if my life depended on it. I’m in the people business and people just happen to need houses. I am here to be a resource and help families. 

Contact Joe Benedetto: 678-341-7400,,

Christy Scally

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. If you are in the Red or Orange Zones, we want to help. Or if you know anyone who is in the Red or Orange

Christy Scally
Zones let us know how we can help them and at the very minimum we can pray. 

I have adjusted my business by time-blocking four hours for lead generation a day instead of my usual one hour. I have been calling just to check up on people and seeing how they are doing instead of talking just about the real estate market.

Contact Christy Scally: 404-660-2919,,

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
John Heath

JOhn Heath
John Heath & Your Results Team remains focused on giving our clients the best possible home buying or selling experience during this difficult time. We believe that to best serve our clients it is important to treat their real estate needs as if they were our own. We listen carefully to understand your real estate goals and work hard to create solutions that make sense for you. Contact John Heath:, 678-908-7002